ACT records two Covid cases as Canberra lockdown begins

The ACT has recorded two new cases of Covid in the community, including a 14-year-old school student, as Canberra enters its first day of its snap seven-day lockdown.

The new cases bring the total number of Covid cases in the ACT to six. The government has also confirmed that we are dealing with the Delta strain of Covid.

One of the new cases is a 14 year-old student at Gold Creek School, which has sent many members of the school community into 14 days of quarantine, including construction workers who were on the school site.

The student was at school while infectious for three days, from Monday, August 9 to Wednesday, August 11.

Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School has also been affected.

The case linked to the school was reported after 9am on Friday and will be formally included in Saturday's figures. That means the official tally stands at five, but six people have tested positive.

A pop-up testing clinic is being planned to be set up at the Gold Creek School in response to the outbreak linked to the school.

The student is not known to be linked to any of the existing cases as part of the ACT outbreak but chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said investigations were ongoing.

The remaining cases are all linked to the original case which sparked the lockdown.

Three of the six cases were already reported on Thursday night by ACT health authorities. Those three cases were close contacts of a Gungahlin man in his 20s, who was the first case of Covid in Canberra in more than a year, sparking the lockdown.

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The man had nine close contacts, with six of those testing negative.

Investigations are still under way as to how the virus came to the ACT.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was "entirely unimportant" as to how the virus entered Canberra.

"There is a time for those issues, but not today," he said.

Earlier on Friday, ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said 3900 close contacts of the original Covid case have been found through the Check In CBR app, of those 1862 have been identified.

New exposure sites have been listed by ACT Health, including the Gungahlin Kmart and Gungahlin Big W and Pellegrino's Cafe in Fyshwick on Tuesday, alone with the Windsor Smith store at the Canberra Outlet Centre on Sunday.

The new cases have prompted a record demand for testing in the ACT, with long lines, some more than eight hours, at testing clinics across Canberra.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has apologised to those who were turned away from testing clinics after waiting for hours.

She said testing capacity will be further ramped up in response to the outbreak.

More than 2000 tests have been conducted in the past day.

Visitors will now be barred from entering health facilities in the ACT in response to the lockdown, unless it is an extraordinary circumstance.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at Friday's press conference. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at Friday's press conference. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

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This story ACT records two new Covid cases, including school student first appeared on The Canberra Times.